Those in the logistics industry are obsessed with maintaining margins, especially when the business environment is increasingly uncertain and there is steep competition in every sector. A certain amount of waste is a part of the reality in shipping, but it is now important more than ever before to reduce wastage of time, effort, and money to improve margins and maximize profits. Some practical cost-saving strategies for shippers to improve margins:
Use FCL Instead of LCL by Shipping Less Frequently
If you don’t have enough cargo to fill a container, it can help not to ship via the more expensive LCL route. You should, instead, accumulate enough cargo to use the FCL route. While shipping less often can help you to do this, you will have to factor in the additional warehousing costs. You must also figure out how it affects your supply chain, not to speak your cash flow. According to CNN, the cost of shipping a 40-foot container has increased by 360% in the last year.
Avoid the Peak Season
Since ocean freight quotes or rates are cyclical, it makes sense not to ship when the demand for containers is strong, and the shipping lines impose Peak Season Surcharge (PSS). Unfortunately, you may not be able to avoid shipping in the peak season because additional warehousing may be too expensive. However, if you ship large volumes of cargo, you can try to negotiate a more favorable PSS rate. Alternatively, use a freight calculator to move your business to freight forwarders that offer lower PSS. If these don’t work out, you can book your shipments on a slower route to keep costs down.
Work With an Integrated Logistics Service Provider
You can slash your ocean freight costs dramatically by using a door-to-door logistical solution provider. When you integrate your logistics supply chain, greater transparency makes managing inventory easier, and you can lower your transportations costs. Some ocean freight carriers have digitally transformed themselves and created Closed Freight Networks. If you use them, you can get even better rates together with the convenience of shipping door-to-door and operating in a single digital platform.
Understand How U.S. Customs Works
If you are importing goods into America, you need to have a strong knowledge of the export-import industry as otherwise; you can waste a lot of money. You can make mistakes like not choosing the right codes for customs tariffs, not understanding the rules of origin, using an incorrect or incomplete marking for the country of origin, and even getting confused about valuations by U.S. Customs. It may be preferable to import from countries that lower your landed costs. You must also ensure your documentation is correct and organized, and integrate your supply chain to reduce costs significantly.
Cutting your freight costs for an improved bottom line is not simple, but if you are aware of the various aspects of the logistics and shipping industry, you can achieve significant savings. Using technology in the form of digitalizing the shipping process to cut out the paperwork and systemic inefficiencies and permit load consolidation, faster bookings, streamlining payments, and getting the best rates can be very helpful.